When the city was still under lockdown in May, many restaurants were already planning how they would adjust to new social distancing rules when they would be allowed to reopen in June.
One such eatery, Melba's at 300 W 114th Street in Harlem, began working with architect David Rockwell's Rockwell Group on a proposal for expanded outdoor seating that would be stylish and easy to install while keeping guests and employees safe.
The design firm's eye-catching solution–a series of adaptable outdoor kits that expands seating onto street parking and takes only six hours to install–is now here.
The specially-designed seating runs along W 114th Street–one of Harlem's newly designated open streets limiting traffic–and features a wood platform lined with stylish semi-private booths. Each dining area is separated by clear plexiglass.
Even more tables are spaced along the other end of the sidewalk, but they're only separated by planters.
The new seating debuted on June 22, with Mayor de Blasio and his wife as one of the first guests.
Other restaurants across the city are expected to debut the kits in the coming weeks.